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Yes, the goals of Rolfing and massage are different. The goals of massage, among other things, are relaxation and stress relief. Massage does not involve improving your posture and structure in order to achieve these goals.
The goals of Rolfing are to improve your posture, structure and ability to move with ease. Rolfing addresses many of the root causes of pain and loss of function. In addition, Rolfing helps you gain awareness of the things you do in your daily life that contribute to your discomfort and easily learn healthier ways to be present in your body. Chronic stresses, strains and discomforts can disappear as you gain new awareness and capacity for healthy movement through the Rolfing series. You can look forward to results that are visible, measurable and long-lasting.
I have found that adding Somatic Experiencing (SE) to a Rolfing session makes it easier to accomplish the goals of the session. Here’s why. When our nervous system is highly activated, we have a tendency to adopt postures of bracing, self-defense and/or collapse. This contributes to the tension patterns in your body which cause the discomfort that brought you to my office in the first place. If your nervous system is highly activated and we do not address it, your body may even resist or brace against the Rolfing bodywork. This is the opposite of the results we are looking for. I am on your side. I am here to help you, not to become something for you to resist.
It is helpful for both of us to become aware of how your tension patterns are triggered by nervous system activation. It then becomes more clear which parts of your patterns are related to structural issues in your body. Through SE, I can help you learn how to calm and regulate your nervous system. In addition, we can slow things down enough so we can start to notice how you move out of these tension patterns in your own way. Then we can add Rolfing bodywork to assist the process of moving out of these tension patterns. SE is the way we address your nervous system. Rolfing is the way we address your structure. In combination, we can most effectively get you on your path to healing.
Rolfing is right for you if you have postural problems, injuries and/or chronic discomforts that interfere with daily activities. Rolfing is right for you if you have already tried several other therapeutic interventions and feel like they didn’t fully address your underlying problem. If you want to feel better in your body and easily learn healthier ways to use your body, Rolfing is right for you.
You will probably have a strong feeling that Rolfing is right for you before you make your first appointment. However, if you are unsure, please contact me and we can discuss any concerns you may have. The best way to find out is to try one session. There is no obligation to continue with the series if you decide that Rolfing is not appropriate for you.
A typical Rolfing series may not be appropriate for you if you have certain health conditions like fibromyalgia or osteoporosis. If you feel you could benefit from Rolfing, and have a complicating health condition, I am able to work with you in a different way using a combination of SourcePoint Therapy® and Somatic Experiencing®. In this way, we can achieve the goals of your sessions using no touch or very gentle touch.
If you are feeling hesitant to try Rolfing because you worry it might be too painful, please take a moment to consider how you are thinking about pain. Are you thinking of harmful experiences you have had in the past? You may already be suffering from the effects of these experiences. Rolfing does not inflict this pain. On the contrary, Rolfing can help relieve your ongoing suffering from painful past experiences.
The perception of pain varies greatly from person to person and you have your own unique tolerance level. For this reason, I have learned many different ways to maintain your comfort. In addition, it is important for us to have open communication concerning your comfort to ensure the appropriate kind of touch is used at all times.
Rolfing can be, at times, relaxing and pleasurable, at other times, somewhat uncomfortable. However, this discomfort is brief and associated with the release of chronic tension, rather than the experience of harm. I will always adjust the quality of touch to match your tolerance level. As mentioned above, I am happy to use Somatic Experiencing and SourcePoint Therapy techniques and only gentle touch during your sessions. The choice is yours.
It is important that you refrain from using lotion or body oil before your Rolfing session. I will ask you to stand and walk periodically during your session. For this reason, please wear clothing that you feel comfortable being seen in. Boxer length briefs, jogging shorts or other athletic shorts are best for men. Workout bras and jogging or other athletic shorts are best for women. If you choose to have non-touch or light touch sessions, you will be able to remain fully clothed for your session.
At the beginning of your first session I will ask you to fill out a consent form and I will ask questions concerning any health issues you may have, as well as your goals for your Rolfing series. We will have time to discuss any questions you may have. Then I will ask you to stand and walk a little so we can analyze your posture and determine the goals of the session. Your session will last approximately 75 minutes and will end with a second postural analysis so we can notice how you experience the session.
Many people feel energized after their first session. However, you may feel relaxed and possibly a bit tired. You may also feel somewhat sore during the following day, like after a vigorous workout. Although it is not necessary, you may want to consider keeping your evening free after your first session and to have a physically light day the next day. If you choose non-touch or light touch sessions, you are not likely to feel any soreness the next day.
SourcePoint Therapy is a form of healing discovered by my teacher, longtime Rolfer, Bob Schrei. It can enhance the effectiveness of our work together by bringing a greater sense of order, balance, harmony and flow to your system. In addition, SourcePoint Therapy helps me locate blockages in your system and decide how to most effectively use my skills to help you achieve your goals. If you are very sensitive to touch or have a health condition that is best worked with using only light touch, SourcePoint Therapy can be used throughout your entire session.